Africa endangered in area of AI – Anambra ICT MD

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Tony Okafor,Awka

The Managing Director of Anambra ICT Agency, Mr Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata, has said that Africa is quite endangered in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) as developed countries are building multi-billion dollar industries and positioning for such investments.

Agbata stated this on Thursday when
Anambra ICT Agency played host to relevant stakeholders and Tech experts in and across the state in a hybrid workshop at the Agency’s conference hall in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

He reiterated the vision of the state governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo towards making Anambra a livable and smart mega city and the agency’s commitment to drive the laudable vision, which culminated in the need to have a state ICT Policy framework.

Agbata said,“Technology is at the heart of what we want to achieve and to make it sustainable we need a policy- a holistic policy backed by executive order”.

“Think of the ICT hubs in developed countries you know, they didn’t just happen.

“These were the result of conscious efforts by governments, driven by policies and that is what we are doing here today,” he added.

He added that the draft under review incorporated the National Information Development Technology Act, Mr. Governor’s manifesto, the Transition Committee Report, Vision 2070, and the National start up law, which is appropriate to be domesticated in the policy document.

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The document, Agbata further revealed, will be a blueprint for the implementation of Everything Technology and Technology Everywhere vision of Governor Chukwuma Soludo, noting that as a collaborator, the agency is willing to share the model and collaborate with other states and bodies once it is approved by the state government.

According to him, the participants at the workshop were drawn from all relevant stakeholders group within and outside Nigeria, all in a bid to make sure that they have a voice in the policy.

Continuing , Agbata said “Apart from Lagos and few other places, we have pockets of young people doing their own things in secluded formats, not based on policy”.

“Africa is quite endangered in the area of artificial intelligence, as developed countries are building multi-billion dollar industries and positioning for such investments”.

“We must therefore begin to position the industry in the state for the curve ahead.

“We just want to make sure that technology thrives in Anambra, but we can’t do it alone.

“The Governor has given us the necessary backing and has supported us to achieve a lot.

”The Anambra ICT Agency is ready and all we ask, is that you join forces with us to create a model that other states may follow to ensure that Nigeria is a habitable place.

“We will make sure that enough time is allowed for more stakeholders’ input beyond here,” he concluded.

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Agbata appreciated the stakeholders for their critical reviews and input into the policy adding that the ICT Policy would serve as a compass for all ICT initiatives in the state upon approval by Mr. Governor.

The event was the first ever Anambra State ICT Policy Stakeholders’ Engagement Workshop.

Key participants in various businesses and fields of expertise reviewed and contributed to the draft ICT Policy Framework, created by the State ICT Agency, to develop a comprehensive and holistic document, a strong blueprint for the execution of tech initiatives in the state.

Speaking, the Dean, faculty of Physical Sciences, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Prof Kingsley Nwozor praised Governor Soludo for running a government of collaboration across fields and giving innovation the platform to thrive.

He said,“I see a bright future for Anambra state through this workshop; with the digitization of several services for us at the university such as online payment of fees and result checking, plans for virtual classes, we anticipate working with the ICT Agency to accomplish much more.

“We want to say that the COOU is ready to explore further partnerships with this agency, towards technological advancements in the state,” he said.

For the president general of Nkpor Community and the information personnel for ASATU, Chief Emeka Mbagha, ICT is the new normal, adding that he looked forward to an Anambra where people could access internet services even from leisure parks.

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A cyber security expert, Mr. Arinze Okosieme, who participated virtually from the United Kingdom, lauded the efforts of the state government, driven by the ICT Agency to deepen technology in the state and pledged to support the state through the Agency in ways possible.

To further strengthen the ICT policy, as it is done globally, he also advocated for the establishment of cyber security labs and a state cyber security policy.

On their parts, the representatives of the Anambra State Investment Promotion and Protection Agency, ANSIPPA, the Anambra Civil Society Network, the Strategy Execution and Evaluation, SEE office, and other speakers at the event, hailed the initiative of the workshop and the ICT policy, noting that the future held brighter prospects for the state, considering the kind of engagements the Agency is holding with stakeholders.

They all pledged their support to the initiative, through their platforms.

Highlights of the workshop were the presentation of the draft policy, as well as a break-out session, which featured intense engagement, opening the discourse for deeper conversation on how to shape the future of ICT in Anambra State.

2 thoughts on “Africa endangered in area of AI – Anambra ICT MD

  1. ICT and AI should be a good platform provided to Africans to enable use create a technology that can be better our society.

  2. Provision of AI and ICT platform in african will be a huge development which will make the society a better place

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